$300 000 Raised for ACF Activities

* Richard and Tina Carolan Donate $200,000 during successful banquet.

BEVERLY HILLS–More than $300,000 was raised for the Armenian Cultural Foundation Trust Fund during the organization’s annual banquet Saturday at the Beverly Hills Hotel where Mr. & Mrs. Richard and Tina Carolan made a princely donation of $200,000–while Mr. & Mrs. Manuel and Josephine Sassounian sponsored the entire cost of the plush banquet.

Mr. & Mrs. Hagop & Mina Shirvanian –who had originally sponsored the banquet with a $5,000 donation– became ACF Trust Fund Founding Members by donating an addtiional $20,000. A $5,000 donation was also Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Galian.

The more than 200 people attending the banquet–which included some 70 couples who had donated 1,000 each–were given an extensive report of ACF Trust Fund activities and allocations in the past year.

Mistress of Ceremonies Mina Shirvanian presented a brief history of the organization– and stressed the importance of activities the ACF had undertaken.

She explained that the ACF Trust Fund began its activities with the introduction of the MBNA/ACF Master Card and for the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Centennial–the ACF introduced minted gold and silver commemorative coin set which continue to be sold.

Shirvanian stressed that following the devastating earthquake in Armenia and the emergence of the Karabakh movement–the ACF realized that the community’s attention should be diverted to the needs of the homeland–and thus encouraged its donors to make financial contributions to assist the efforts in Armenia and Karabakh.

She concluded her opening remarks by previewing some of the activities and projects the ACF had planned for the future–and reiterated the organization’s commitment to the betterment of the Armenian community and its aspirations.

Peroomian then outlined the organization’s activities and provided a report of activities in the past year.

Peroomian also discussed several new additions to the ACF Trust–including new wills and scholaship programs.

"Finally–I don’t know how to express my gratitude and convey sincere thanks of our committee to a dear couple who have been with us always and have contributed generously to our organization and Hai Tahd activities," stated Peroomian in introducing the Carolans.

"Today–they [the Carolans] are making the most generous–as we Armenia’s say Ishkhanagan–donation of $200,000 to our organization," announced Peroomian–as the humble Carolans were met with an exuberant standing ovation for their generosity.

Peroomian explained that the generous couple made the donation without hesitation–after hearing the needs of the organization–and furthermore did not want any special mention or an appearance in return for their donation.

Peroomian stated that during a meeting with the Carolans–Tina Carolan had stated that the donation was her duty–as a former Armenian Youth Federation member–to the community.

Prior to Peroomian’s presentation–ARF Central Committee chairman Dr. Viken Hovsepian addressed the gathering–explaining that despite the difficulties facing the organization–the ARF has been able to persevere and serve the Armenian nation and the aspirations of the Armenian people.

He added that the current problems facing the party (i.e. the ban on party activities in Armenia) were unfortunate obstacles which the ARF would overcome and emerge with an even stronger commitment to its mission.

Hovsepian also stated that the ARF Western USA’s annual budget of $4.5 million funded some of the most important activities of the region–including the Asbarez Armenian and English publications–the Horizon–Menk and Lradou television programs–the ACF-sponsored web page–www.Armenian.org–as well as the ANCA–ANCA-WR and local ANC chapter efforts–and AYF–AYF Camp and other youth-oriented activities.

The keynote speaker for the evening was member of the ANC International Board of Directors Harry Derderian–who discussed the early beginnings of the ANC movement–whereby volunteer initiatives of several dedicated members opened politically powerful doors for the ANC and its pursuit of Genocide recognition and later the Karabakh question.

Derderian also outlined the importance of nurturing and educating the Armenian youth as the natural torchbearers of the Armenian Cause and stressed the imperative for youth participation in the political process.

In conclusion of the gathering–Western Prelate Right Rev. Moushegh Mardirossian addressed the gathering and praised the efforts of the ACF Trust Fund–as well as the Carolann–Shirvanian and Galian families for their generosity and continued support and devotion to the community.

The entertainment for the evening was provided by the mother-daughter team of Sossy and Salpi Kerkonian whose renditions of traditional Armenian and Classical music on the harp and flute provided an ambient mood for the banquet.

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